Done With Mirrors discusses the plight of Mr. Salah Choudhury, a Muslim Bangladeshi journalist. According to the WSJ, :

Assuming he survives till Thursday, he will face charges of blasphemy, sedition, treason and espionage in a Dhaka courtroom. His crime is to have tried to attend a writers’ conference in Tel Aviv on how the media can foster world peace. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Someone should tell the State Department to wise up. Back to the WSJ:

Welcome to Bangladesh, a country the State Department’s Richard Boucher recently portrayed in congressional testimony as “a traditionally moderate and tolerant country” that shares America’s “commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law.” That’s an interesting way to describe a country … whose governing coalition, in addition to the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, includes two fundamentalist Islamic parties that advocate the imposition of Shariah law. There are an estimated 64,000 madrassas (religious schools) in Bangladesh. … In March the Peace Corps was forced to leave the country for fear of terrorist attacks. Seven other journalists have also been brought up on sedition charges by Ms. Zia’s government, most of them for attempting to document Bangladesh’s repression of religious minorities.

My definition of a moderate Muslim country: one which protects the rights of religious minorities. On that count, Bangladesh joins Indonesia and Pakistan as countries where religious minorities live under constant threat of violence perpetrated by the Muslim majority. Ditto most of the Middle East, including Iraq and Egypt.

The moderate Muslim country seems as mythical as the moderate Muslim majority.

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